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Eighty-four Days and Counting

 Earth date: August 10, 2020

Are you registered to vote?

If the answer is no or you are not sure, skip this blog (as scintillating as it is) and go check on your status. Go to: www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/ . If you live elsewhere, it is just as easy to access voter registration information in you state.

Be prepared.

Election day is eighty-four days away (November 3rd) and the deadline to be registered to vote is in half that time (October 5th). Do not wait; do it now. It might take 30 days to get your card. Make sure it matches the ID you are going to use, and if there is an error, you will have to get the registration card corrected before you can use it. You might not have enough time to have it fixed before Election Day.

The website will provide most of the information you need: who is eligible to vote, how to get an application, whether you are already registered, how to report a lost registration card, and how to update or correct information. Do it immediately since as previously stated, time is of the essence.  

In the meantime, make sure you also have ONE of the many forms of acceptable ID you will need to take with you to vote in person. In Texas, there are eight acceptable forms including one called RID, a reasonable impediment declaration for those who cannot provide one of the other seven. Another thing you can do while you wait is to become familiar with your options on how and where to vote. Some people in Texas are eligible to vote by mail, and because of the pandemic, early voting in person in Texas has been expanded from October 13 through October 30, 2020. Some places offer curbside service for those who cannot enter the building to vote, so a ballot can be taken out to them, and they also offer drop off voting for those with a mail in ballot who prefer not to use the Post Office. Call your local voting district to explore your options beforehand. Don’t go to all this work and then cannot deliver your vote.

Be informed.

Download and print a sample ballot before you go to vote and study your choices, marking or highlighting the candidate you finally choose.  Study the responsibilities of the office before selecting the candidate of your choice. Sometimes the title of the office is misleading. For instance, the Texas Railroad Commission does not regulate railroads. It has had nothing to do with the railroads since 2005. It regulates oil, gas, coal, uranium, and the delivery of each throughout the state. Knowing the responsibilities of the office helps you to assess the candidates based on their qualifications, backgrounds, and experience. No office is inconsequential, so study all of them before selecting the best candidate.

As October 13 approaches, you will be ready. You will be prepared and informed. You will have done everything possible to vote well, safely, and wisely, and if ever we needed all voters to get out and make their voices heard, it is 2020.  

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